Bret Weinstein was forced to leave Evergreen State College earlier this year when the social justice warriors at the school mobbed him with their insane agenda. Weinstein, a liberal by anyone’s definition, was not far-left enough for the modern SJWs who populate most campuses in today’s America. And because he refused to back down from their hostility, he was ostracized and abandoned by the Evergreen State administration.
Ultimately, Weinstein was awarded $500,000 in exchange for his dismissal, but he has used the ensuing months to speak out against what he sees as a very dangerous trend in academia.
In a recent interview with Benjamin Boyce, Weinstein shed some light on why this is suddenly happening at college after college and why sane administrators find it so difficult to fight back against these lunatic mobs.
“I don’t think that we can say that the entire educational apparatus is a failure,” he said, “but we can say that the part of the apparatus that is a failure is taking over more and more territory. The number of classes in a university that are immune to this extremely broken way of thinking is ever smaller. And I think we can even see from here the day in which it will be no classes that are immune because every class is going to be subject to some set of rules that is built around this very naive notion of privilege and white supremacy and all of that. So that day is coming.”
This is both heartbreaking and, unfortunately, eminently obvious to anyone who has been paying attention to this rapid and insane infection that is growing like a cancer in the halls of our nation’s once-respected universities. At some of the most left-wing colleges in the country, in some of the most left-wing classes IN those left-wing colleges, we have unhinged young “adults” preventing the professors from speaking because they’ve committed some imagined infraction against the rules of social justice warriordom. These rules are as absurd as they are numerous: Wearing a “Poetry is Lit” t-shirt? That’s cultural appropriation. Teaching students the plays of Shakespeare? You better damn well add a trigger warning. It’s tiresome, it’s idiotic, and it’s taken completely seriously by a small but vocal percentage of students. Students who are recruiting new cultists into their movement every day.
And that leaves many people wondering: How? How is this happening? How do such dumb ideas find such extraordinary purchase? And Weinstein believes he knows the answer.
“If there’s one thing that people fail to appreciate about the social justice movement where it interfaces with the academy is that just because what is being said is crazy to the point of absurdity does not mean that the strategic plan is absurd,” Weinstein said. “The strategic plan is far more effective than you would expect based on the sophistication of the ideas that are being promulgated.”
He said that the arguments these students use have been refined through decades of social Darwinism on left-wing campuses.
“Those arguments that were hard to defeat persisted and those arguments that were easy to defeat have perished,” he said. “Which means that the new crop of students shows up and they’re handed this toolkit of argument that are incredibly hard to confront, not because they’re true but because of the way that they’re structured.”
In other words – no matter how silly and patently false their underlying arguments are, these students have learned to argue them in such a way that it is nearly impossible to refute them. All logical, counter-balancing points are dismissed with: “That’s victim blaming!” “That’s your white privilege speaking!” “You’re using the language of the patriarchy!” “It’s not the role of the oppressed to inform the oppressor!” Ad nauseum. This doesn’t necessarily help them convert anyone to their cause, but it does give them the appearance of “winning” whenever they are in a showdown with the rational-minded. And that appearance alone may be enough to explain why more and more students – many of them who have felt victimized their entire lives for one (real or imagined) reason or another – are drawn to join the movement.
And as depressing as it sounds, it could mean that these outlandish groups of anti-logic, anti-free speech, anti-everything loons are going to grow stronger and crazier before things get better.